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Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

The Pitiful Life Of Scott Lively

08 Dec

Scott LivelyIt’s no secret, how I feel about those who spread a message of hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and “questioning” (LGBTQ) persons.

Fred Phelps, may he not rest in peace, was a disgusting, vile, evil and abusive bastard who managed to imbue most of his own children and in-laws with the same manner of hate and prejudice.

But ole’ Fred is now [finally] dead and rotting in the ground, likely as not to be disturbed by the maggots that would otherwise feed on the dead’s flesh (I’m convinced maggots have a higher set of standards).

Enter, Scott Lively

I refuse to acknowledge that this self-important, hateful old gas-bag has a doctorate (likely as not) and even if he did, I’m hard-pressed to give him the credit for same since, in my eyes, doing so would detract from the many others who have done something good and productive with the fruits of their own studies.

No, Scott Lively is just another example of evil and hate… A pitiful man who tries to hide his pathetic failures by slandering an entire group in the world who are simply trying to live their own lives and find some happiness.

But that isn’t all he is; actually, it’s FAR WORSE. Not only does he slander but he seemingly takes joy in pretending to know what God wants and consequently encourages acts of genocide toward anyone who might be a member of the LGBTQ community (or merely perceived to be as such).


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My Thoughts On The Minimum Wage

25 Jun

On the issue of the minimum wage, I’ll admit it hasn’t really kept up with the rate of inflation so perhaps a “slight” increase is called for. Having said this I want to make an important distinction between those who are expecting to make a “living wage” and those who are simply out there “flipping burgers” and the like. In recent months, we’ve heard a lot about minimum-wage earners employed at fast food joints who are bitching, claiming they can’t make a decent living at their job…

What do they expect?

These people need to get off their ass and get a job that wasn’t intended to be anything more than a “temporary job for a school kid in need of a bit of spending money while attending junior high or high school.”

It chaps my ass when I hear about some knucklehead working at McDonald’s (or any fast food joint for that matter) who’s complaining he or she isn’t making twenty bucks an hour.

If such a person really wants to make twenty or more dollars an hour then he/she needs to get a real job that requires more of a skill-set than just being able to toss some fries in a cardboard envelope and slopping a burger in a box. Demanding such a wage for that kind of work is a slap in the face of every person who actually goes the distance to make the effort to lift him or herself up by learning a skill so that he/she can provide a necessary service or create a product that requires more skills than that which a 6-year old child might possess.

Yeah, I know… that isn’t a popular opinion but I stand by it.

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Defending the First Amendment

16 Feb

I might disagree with your point of view “but I’ll fight to protect your right to espouse it.”

That’s what the First Amendment is all about and that is precisely why I feel it’s important to protect it (even when said right is abused by the lowest of the low; people and/or organizations who are simply acting like “douche-bags”).


We cannot all agree on everything all of the time so yes, even when the behavior and statements of others runs contrary to my own or is downright offensive (to me) I will still feel it’s important to protect their right to demonstrate their stupidity. {sarcasm}

So how does this apply to the Westboro Baptist Church, an organized group of very hateful, judgmental and bitter individuals who have been a nuisance to me for more than twenty-five years now?

The WBC has picketed the church I’ve been a member of since 1986 (on at least three occasions that I can readily recall) and they have been present to picket the funeral of a friend’s brother. One of their members shared a stage with that same friend many years ago, insulting and attempting to degrade him in front of the audience (only to experience firsthand, how the attempt backfired and they themselves came out the loser).

They never really learn though… For instance, 5-year old Jayden Sink set up a Lemonade stand to benefit a message of hope and peace at the Equality House located across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church.

How did they respond to this little girl? Well, as is their usual manner and classless fashion they put up a marquee that read “Fags & enablers all burn in hell; Lemonade won’t cool any tongues.” Did the WBC’s efforts dampen the spirits of this little girl or those who stood with her? Doubtfully, because as more and more people learned of Jayden’s story, she was able to raise more than $400 for the cause that day alone (and thousands of dollars since). God bless the little children. {seriously}

If you haven’t already seen the article on Huffington Post you should really read about Jayden here.

And yet…


There is one member of the Phelps family to whom I have to give some respect; he is Nate Phelps residing in Calgary, Canada. Nate is the son of Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church and (see interview at right) he apparently disagrees with the actions of his family. Thank God, a voice of reason among so many boorish members of the Phelps family. We can assume he’s not on good terms with the Phelps clan for having the strength, intelligence and good fortitude to disagree with their outrageous and obviously hateful activities. That is reason enough to give the guy kudos and a pass for having the same last name as such a hateful family.

Nate says it best when he states, “I think that as soon as we start silencing these voices that we disagree with, we are affectively saying that we are prepared to silence our own voice if we have an opinion that becomes unpopular with the general public.” I think he has hit the nail squarely on the head and that is the reason for which I will defend the rights of others to espouse their rhetoric, even when what they have to say is 180 degrees opposite of how I myself feel. (Of course, having the right to proclaim your opinion does not give you safe harbor and protection from having to experience the consequences of having done so; that’s a totally different matter altogether.)

But some people need enough rope to demonstrate (for the world to witness firsthand) just how hateful, intolerant and small-minded they can truly be. The WBC is a perfect example of such a group of people.

On a sidenote, I do find it offensive they’ve been able to legally quantify their hateful organization as a church and are able to enjoy all of the tax benefits that come along with being recognized as such. They hardly seem worthy of being described as a church but are more akin to a cult, not unlike that of Jim Jones many years ago — and just like the members of the Jone’s cult, I wish these ass-hats would drink the grape Kool-Aid. (Google it kids and you’ll then understand what I mean by that comment.)

The son of Fred Phelps does agree that the organization should not be allowed to picket at funerals (and I agree). The First Amendment should not extend the freedom of free speech in such a way that any individual or organized group is welcome to offend the sensibilities or personal feelings of another as he/she/they are burying their loved one(s).

There has to be a line drawn “somewhere” and that line should benefit the friends and families of those who have passed. Such persons in grief need time to do so privately and in peace; they shouldn’t have to endure the political, religious and cultish ravings of some lunatic fringe group that represents the “worst of what religion has to offer“.

Namaste,
Michael

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Dallas, Drivers and Detention

24 Oct

Distractions while driving: Danger!I’ve seen most every kind (I could ever imagine) of idiot on the road since moving to Dallas (TX) in 1984. Sadly, the [driving] conditions are becoming progressively worse now that smart-phones have become so popular.

These devices not only give people the opportunity to text and drive but to check a multitude of apps on their phone (such as Twitter, Facebook and online games, just to name a few). The “addicted” are never out of touch with their digital lives.

Traffic and road rage is a growing problem here in Dallas. Road construction is a part of the problem but the ever-growing number of cars on the road should be our primary focus. People’s unwillingness to pay attention to what is going on around them, combined with ever-increasing traffic, road construction and repairs (because our city engineers cannot finish one freaking project before starting three dozen others)… These things are making all of us more and more stressed, angry and insensitive.


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Medals for Mediocrity

21 Oct

Definition of mediocrityWhat are we teaching our children today. (Okay, in all fairness I don’t have kids so perhaps the question should be “What are you teaching your children”?)

Recently, it’s become a pattern to give kids a medal for “participating” (for just showing up, regardless of whether they were prepared, put any effort into the competition or were skilled.). I know this because I’ve seen it firsthand over and over. The message seems to be that it’s alright to be lazy, to be motivated not to improve one’s skills and hone his or her craft.

All that matters is that you show up — and you deserve a medal just for doing so.

Not!


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DNC, GOP & Libertarian

19 Oct

The three political parties (plus one group of fanatics)I’m registered as a Democrat but identify more so with the Libertarians. Conservative on some fronts (believe in SMALLER government and LESS government intervention, for instance — and a staunch supporter of gun rights). Liberal on other [fronts], such as marriage equality, etc.

I believe in a FLAT tax where EVERYBODY is responsible for paying the same percentage of each dollar they earn, into the system to support our troops, public services, etc. and do NOT believe we need the government protecting us from ourselves at every turn. (It is high time that we the people woke the hell up and started using the brains that we were born with.)

It is also about time that we make companies who are willing to ship jobs overseas pay more in taxes and give credits to those who are willing to keep the jobs and production here.

It’s time we called illegal aliens precisely what they are; criminals. You’re welcome to come into the states, live here, secure a job (even send whatever you can afford to live without back to your families across the border). I’ve NO problem with this whatsoever and I even encourage it for we are, after all a nation of immigrants — save for the native Indians who this country bilked out of all their land, shoving them onto reservations and making promises that were never kept (but I digress). But again, if you are going to immigrate here do it LEGALLY. If you cannot work within the system then you’re breaking the law and yes, that makes you a criminal.

To the fanatics (the Tea Party) who are so freaking caught up in shining the spotlight on themselves at any cost to the nation and its citizens, go the hell away. We are damned tired of your extremist tactics and willingness to shut down the government, negatively affecting the economy during what SHOULD be a time of recovery — all because you’re pissed off and throwing a freaking temper tantrum.

To Ted Cruz and Rick Perry, kiss my backside on a day when my stomach is most unsettled.

To all the rest, let’s talk and let’s LISTEN to one another and let’s reach some middle ground that makes some damned sense for a change!

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Gone Too Far

02 Sep

Tolerance, the definition ofOkay, clearly I have more serious concerns right now, what with the possibility of a relapse of cancer on the horizon but I’m going to take a moment to comment on (what I perceive) to be an unrealistic over-reaction to a husband-and-wife bakery shop in Oregon.

I agree that those of us who are members of the LGBT community should be treated with the same level of respect any human being, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, is deserving of. I also believe it’s inherently important that our GOVERNMENT recognize and offer to gay couples, the same rights and protections that any other committed [straight] couple would be extended as a consequence of the couple’s expressed devotion to one another.

Does it bother me that there are so many who classify us as degenerates and refuse our business, justifying their actions by dismissing us as sinners who are unworthy of the most basic rights in this country? Certainly. I think such people are small-minded, pathetic and haven’t one damned clue as to what Jesus Christ was all about and/or how God feels about His gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered children. To put it simply, I think they’re DUMBASSES, but…


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An Open Letter to CBS

17 Aug

CBS's television shown, "Wheel of Fortune"You think your antics are going unnoticed but they aren’t. I get it, CBS has something to sell and Time Warner is your former (and now, prospective) customer. Am I a fan of Time Warner? No, I’m a former customer who cancelled their sorry butts over a year back because of their price-gouging. In fact, I’m a former consumer of cable television altogether, one who refuses to be held hostage by an exorbitant cable bill at the end of every month (but I digress).

The fact of the matter is Time Warner doesn’t like the pricing you (CBS) wish to charge for your product/service so they basically cancelled you just as I cancelled them last year.

We ALL know that’s the culprit behind the company’s decision to no longer carry the CBS channels (including Showtime) because we ALL know they’d still be airing those stations if they were agreeable with the fees you charge for the privilege of doing so.


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Catholic Church: ACTS HIV Ministry

10 Apr

Pope Benedict XIV in BarcelonaSomebody recently posted a link to the ACTS HIV Ministry in a private group of which I am a member. This ministry is born of the Catholic Church and purports to be an outreach program to “spread the Gospel of Jesus through ACTS retreats to men and women affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.” Sounds honorable, but…

At what cost?

I consider myself a faithful person (so much so that some friends tend to question my intentions when I try to gently remind them that not all Christians are ass-hats whose sole purpose in life is to judge those of us who are gay for being gay).

However, I will be the first to say I am deeply suspicious of anything originating within the Catholic Church as regards homosexuality. While I recognize the RCC has done some good work over the years — its attitude, in general, toward all matters homosexual (and as well, regarding HIV/AIDS) has left much to be desired.

I recently “threw in the towel and ended a friendship” with somebody who is (by ‘his’ own definition) not gay but rather, “suffers from SSA” (same sex attraction). {rolls eyes} The friendship ended not because he is gay — that would be a stupid reason for I too am gay — but rather, because of his general attitude.

His is a journey he has chosen BECAUSE of his (and I imagine his family’s) strict interpretation of what the Catholic Church expects of its congregants who identify as being SSA (or homosexual/bisexual by any reasonable description of one’s sexuality). Not only does he come across as extremely judgmental and self-aggrandizing (both, traits that he and the Church have in common)… He cannot even concede that the intentions of homosexual advocacy groups — the majority of which share only one agenda, which is to encourage open dialogue, acceptance and tolerance of the LGBTQ community — are honorable and noteworthy. Because of his ongoing (and in my opinion, destructive) influence by the Catholic Church, he cannot even find worth in a group such as PFLAG.

There are a growing number of churches out there who DO embrace those of us who identify as LGBTQ; I just happen to question the Catholic Church’s motives and real intent anytime they pretend to be accepting of something they have so clearly stood against all these many years. But that is my opinion and to each their own. Just as I hold no grudges against [other] persons of faith, neither do I have any real grudge against those who consider themselves members in good standing of the Catholic Church.

One’s actions define his or her true worthiness and value as a human being; not necessarily his or her affiliation with any one group or organization.

Namaste,
Michael

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How much longer do we continue?

26 Feb

It’s time to pull back and leave them to themselves.

Soldier in Afghanistan

The New York Times reports of the burning of an [undisclosed] number of Korans at a landfill near Bagram Air Base on Monday, February 20, 2012. It seems to me that, according to witness accounts of laborers AT the landfill, those burning the books were unaware of the significance of their actions. (In large part, because the Korans were among many other books that were being disposed of. Further evidence of this is supported by the fact that they were doing so openly. After all, who in their right mind would burn the Koran, a book of religious significance in the Middle East, openly for others to observe when people have been murdered for just drawing a cartoon of Muhammad?)

I believe it was a mistake; one that could have been avoided but a mistake all the same! It wasn’t done with malice; it was NOT done out of disrespect.
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